Circlip (Snap-ring) Pliers - Any Recommendations?
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PX150, LXV150, GT125
Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 172
Location: DC
Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:10 am quote

I was wondering if anyone had found a good source for circlip pliers. Consistent with the general advice that has appeared in this forum, the set that I bought at Harbor Freight is -- well not so good. They flex more than the circlips.

My next stop was Sears. They don't seem to have their own craftsman brand circlip pliers, and the ones they sell don't look so great, with interchangeable tips and other features that look wonderful except when you need to use them.

I was thinking about trying to find a Snap-on dealer, since folks here have said that those tools are a cut above both Harbor Freight and Sears. They list a couple of fixed tip pliers in their online catalog which are not cheap but reasonable if the quality is good (~$25-35). However, before I try to track down a dealer and buy some, I wondered if anyone here had any advice, or a set of circlip pliers they really liked.

Many thanks for any suggestions.

1964 GS 160 MK II, 1967 Vespa GT, 1968 SS180, 1964 Vespa GL, 1964 Vespa VBB, 2006 Buddy 125, 2013 BMW C650GT
Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 3022
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:05 pm quote
I use the Craftsman. I have a large and small size. They have worked well for me
MV Saint
Haud yer wheesh't if ye cannae be nice
Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 3864
Location: Camden, Maine
Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:49 pm quote
Mate, i have an old set of Snap-on/blue point ones. There about 14 years old and work great.

I have heard the craftsman are great also.

Molto Verboso
'66 Sears Allstate 788.94370 '65 Vespa V9A1T
Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 1236
Location: Roseville, MI
Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:34 pm quote
ScooterRaton wrote:
I use the Craftsman. I have a large and small size. They have worked well for me
i have the same ones. the ones with non changeable tips. they are the way to go.
Piaggio Fly 150
Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 3367
Location: Sanibel Island
Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:14 pm quote
None of them are worth s**t!! I have a drawer full of them and they are all worthless. And every time I find a pair I like I find a cir clip that it doesn't fit. Screw 'em. Get a bigger hammer.
07 GTS250(RIP), 13 GTS300, Several Lambrettas
Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 2695
Location: Raleigh, NC
Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:21 pm quote
I bought these snap ring pliers from my local Autozone. They have lasted through two engine rebuilds.
Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 310

Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:32 pm quote
Depends how much your going to use them versus how much you have to spend. They range from around $15 to god knows what. You want professional tools pay the price, but the cheap ones will work they just aren't made for a lot of use. I could spend more money on tools than an entire rebuild. Do I need them....nope.
PX150, LXV150, GT125
Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 172
Location: DC
Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:26 pm quote
Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I will definitely take a look at the Craftsman pliers. They actually didn't have those in my local Sears but I see them on-line.

Molto Verboso
79 P200e, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1443
Location: Iowa
Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:06 am quote
The ones with the interchangeable tips are not great, but will get you through a rebuild fine.

If you plan to continue rebuilding engines, it would be worth investing in a good set, or find a friend that already owns them.
DL200, TV2, Vega, Lui, GTS
Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 750
Location: Orange, NJ
Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:28 am quote
jimh wrote:
Mate, i have an old set of Snap-on/blue point ones. There about 14 years old and work great.

I have heard the craftsman are great also.

I have a set of those too, probably about the same age!!

You can get used ones on Ebay for a decent price. You just have to look at the photos carefully to make sure the tips aren't too worn.

'74 Primavera Frankenstein, 1980 P200e
Joined: 05 Nov 2009
Posts: 47

Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:40 am quote
I have a pair of the craftsman ones with the changeable tips and they only seem to fit one size circlip. Any smaller or larger and I end up really pissed and using a punch and the pliers.
P200,Rally180, 100 sport , SuperCub50
Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 178

Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:21 pm quote
channel lock - about 30$
Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 558

Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:21 pm quote
the interchangeable craftsman suck. i've got a set of harbor frieghts, and they suck too. i use the craftsman for big honkin' circlips for these electric motors i work on, and they're serviceable.

for piston circlips, i grab an old pair of needle nose pliers that my dad ground the tips into rounded points...can't beat old polish engineering.
Molto Verboso
63 GL 150, 05 Typhoon, 09 Beo 200
Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Grand Pothole Rapids, Michigan
Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:27 am quote
spielawieler wrote:
channel lock - about 30$
Second on the Channellock pliers, they seem to be heavy duty, the points tend net to move, and can tighten them up with set screws...and USA made!

Harbor Frieghts are cheaper, in price and construction!
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 7921
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:34 pm quote
the best dammn pliers money can buy are right here

seriously, they have some badass products.

between those and these you should have no problem tackling even the toughest jobs.

and they'll last a forever.

life is too short to deal with shitty tools-- especially snap ring pliers.

1965 Vespa SS180, 1963 Lambretta LI150
Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 6973
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:57 am quote
The key is that we're talking about the BLACK Craftsman Professional series circlip pliers..... not the shitty chinese made ones with the red grips.

I absolutely love mine.
Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 310

Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:15 am quote
These look sweet......I need to find a job somewhere that will give me a tool allowance.
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